Category Archives: Lebanon

Hey Najib, is Everything Secure Enough?

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secure

I seriously have no idea who came up with that ad, but this guy acts exactly like me. I lock my car at least 3-4 times and if I’m leaving the laptop in the car, I check all the doors like 5 times. I make sure our building’s gate is properly closed and don’t get me started with my daily house inspections. I check everything twice every morning before leaving and twice before sleeping.

My wife couldn’t stop laughing when she heard the ad.

PS: As far as online payment is concerned, I only use one specific card with a low limit and always make sure the website is secure enough. Of course with 3D Secure, payments are even more secure now so it’s great news for me and that other “Najib” lol!

Clue Club: The Coolest & Most Challenging Escape Game in Beirut!

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nazi1

If you are bored of the same old plans every weekend and want to do something fun and intellectually challenging, I highly recommend you visit Clue Club in Hamra and try to escape from one of their two rooms. If you enjoy challenging games where you have to solve puzzles and riddles, find clues and uncover codes then you are going to love the Clue Club games!

golden-eye-diamond1

I will give you a brief about the concept if you haven’t tried escape rooms before and then move on to describe our awesome experience there!

What’s an escape room?
It’s a physical adventure game where you are locked inside a room and have to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. The rooms are monitored for everyone’s safety and well-being and you can’t get out unless of course there’s an emergency. The time limit is 1 hour at Clue Club.

Can anyone play?
The games at Clue Club are designed for groups of 2 to 5 people and anyone can play of course but you will need smart and witty people on your team if you want to solve the riddle and get out!

How hard is it to escape the room?
We were a team of 3 and managed to escape both rooms within 1 hour even though it was our first real escape room experience. It took us 55 minutes to escape the first room and 58 minutes the second one so it was a close call both times.

How can you prepare for the game?
You can’t really prepare for the game as you don’t know what’s inside the room. What you can do though is distribute tasks among team members before the game starts. For example let someone look for hidden clues while the other goes through the clues at hand etc …

Do we get any help?
The room is monitored at all-time and you are completely disconnected from the world (no smartphones no nothing) but you will receive small hints throughout the game whenever they feel you are stuck.

Moving on the rooms in question, there are currently two at Clue Club and they are working on a third one. There’s an intermediate level game “The Golden Eye Diamond” where you need to steal a diamond from a heavily-fortified bank vault in Hamra and an advanced level game “Explosive Gentleman” where you are facing the biggest threat to life in history and need to stop a bomb from detonating.

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The first game we tried was “Explosive Gentleman” and even though it was really challenging, we managed to finish it in less time than “The Golden Eye Diamond” mainly because we wasted 15 minutes looking for a certain account number in endless lists.

I personally enjoyed “Explosive Gentleman” but it was quite hard. The clues were hard to find, the puzzles were difficult to solve and we had to use Morse code at some point. We exercised our brains for the whole hour and I loved the adrenaline rush that came with it. Every time we figured out a clue, we’d get two new ones and we probably couldn’t have escaped without the hints we got but it’s part of the game.

nazi3

“The Golden Eye Diamond” is less difficult but as demanding as the first game. There were a lot of clues all over the place and even though we managed to open the vault within 30 minutes, we wasted some time figuring out one of the clues and luckily escaped the room. In fact, we had 1 missing value out of 4 needed and I tried a random combination and it worked at the 58th minute 😀

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All in all, I wish I could say more about the games but I would be ruining it for those who want to try it. The experience was an amazing one and I challenge those who never tried real escape games to win both games from the first time. I can’t wait to go and try the third room as soon as it’s available!

Price-wise, it’s very affordable. 35$ per person for couples, 30$ per person for a group of 3, 25$ per person for a group or 4 or 5. You can [book] here and I’m gonna email the Clue Club guys to see if we can get a promo code for the blog readers.

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Go and try it out and I promise you that you won’t regret it!

Ranking: 4/5

Namazej: Reaching Out To The Municipal Police To Better Serve Citizens

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park

Municipal Police in Lebanon is usually recruited according to basic criteria and without any specific qualifications. You don’t even need a bachelor degree to apply for that position and barely any training is conducted upon employment. As a result, Municipal police members:

– Cannot enforce municipal prerogatives as they are not aware of them.
– End up fulfilling Municipal Council President (MCP) and council’s members’ agendas (whether personal or public).
– Cannot properly serve citizens.

zzz

More importantly, most of us have no knowledge of these basic rights and end up fighting with the wrong people or simply refrain from reporting issues because we don’t know how and where. Take for example some of these situations that we face almost everyday in Lebanon:
– Valet guys parking illegally or reserving parking spots that are supposed to be public.
– Shops exhibiting their products on the sidewalk and blocking it.
– Illegally placed banners on electric poles and trees.
– Garbage thrown randomly near your shop or house.
– Illegal dumping by construction companies or factories.
– Construction sites working during prohibited times in residential areas.
– Cutting off trees illegally.

rest

Since municipal elections are near, and in an attempt to develop the ‘human’ factor in public bodies to better serve citizens, a handbook entitled “NAMAZEJ” was designed, edited and printed by Lebanon Renaissance Foundation and will be distributed to more than 3,000 municipal police members during introductory sessions in all Lebanese mouhafazats under the direct auspices of their respective mouhafez. The booklet was endorsed by the Ministry of Interior and is available online for those interested. [NAMAZEJ]

The Municipal police has a very high level of interaction with the people and should be aware of these rights in order to better serve the municipality and citizens. The ultimate aim from this campaign is “to improve the citizens’ quality of daily life in various regions, and trigger positive change in local governance practices” and this can easily be achieved by obeying the law and knowing your rights.

Sukleen Still Defending Naameh Landfill

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naameh

I honestly have no idea who advised Sukleen and Sukomi to organize a press conference to defend the Naameh landfill and then sponsor the story on Facebook. It’s like asking for bad publicity and hate comments and I’m sure the person handling their social media is going through hell right now.

The real problem has always been with our government not just Sukleen so I’m not sure why they are dragging themselves into that. Nevertheless, if they insist on proving that the Naameh landfill is perfectly fine, let them present scientific proof and documents to back their claim.

More importantly, let them sit with the Naameh residents and explain to those in the video below who’s to blame for the situation they are in.

مطمر الموت الصحي

ما لا تريدك سلطة الفساد أن تعرف عن ما يسمى من قبلهم بالطمر "الصحي".. شاهدوا للنهاية..#طلعت_ريحتكم وقتلتونا

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Friday, April 8, 2016

Gilberte Zouein Myth Busted

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zouein via Lebanonfiles

Gilberte Zouein apparently likes to talk a lot when she’s out with her friends. It seems politics is not really her thing so she’d rather not get involved, even though she’s an elected Member of Parliament (makes sense?).

I think it’s quite pathetic that MPs are still getting paid even though they renewed their terms twice illegally and unconstitutionally and aren’t really doing anything for the country. From 2008 till 2014, Lebanese have paid in tax money their MPs over 400 billion Lebanese Liras ($266 Million Dollars).

In any functional democracy, MPs should have resigned by now and early elections would have taken place. Let’s hope municipal elections this year will pave the way for more accountability and transparency.

Nadine Labaki Running With Beirut-Madinati For All The Right Reasons

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nad1

A lot of people, including myself, were happy to see Nadine Labaki on Beirut Madinati’s list, not because she’s a celebrity and a well-know figure in Lebanon, but because she’s a hard-working and highly influential person in her field of work. Very few people were able to connect with the Lebanese and represent everything that is right and wrong in our society the way Labaki has done so through her movies. Her latest masterpiece, “Halla2 La wen” (Where do we go now?), is beyond brilliant and shows how passionate Nadine is about Lebanon and its people, and why she’s a perfect candidate for Beirut’s municipality and even for parliament.

If you’re still not convinced by her candidacy, check out her awesome reply to “Abou el Abed” today.

Stavro

How to Ruin Lebanon’s Summer Season in One Headline

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This is a clean and gorgeous beach and it’s in Lebanon 🙂

Back in 2013, we were warned that Lebanese beaches are no longer safe for swimming and that samples collected from several beaches came back borderline toxic. Three years later and after an 8-month long garbage crisis, we are being warned again that it’s not safe to go to the beach this summer in Lebanon.

beach

I think we are all aware at this point that our beaches are not the cleanest but to ask people not to swim at all based on a statement by a local NGO and few words from a doctor is unprofessional and unacceptable! I’m sure some of our beaches are dirty but there are still clean spots in Lebanon and these are the ones that we should highlight. No one is going to swim in Karantina, Costa Brava or Zalka. Most of the beaches North of Lebanon are clean and Tyr’s beaches are quite amazing!

On another note, what is this NGO (Green Globe) doing to clean these beaches? This is the first time I hear about it to be honest.

If you want a list of free, public and clean beaches to go to this summer, check out this [list].